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Covenant students return to classrooms

The school bell rang at Covenant Christian School in Troy early Thursday morning. Only a few hours into the day, it was school as usual for students in grades pre-K through 7.

Well, almost as usual. Only the face masks that were being worn gave way to the fact that COVID-19 is dictating the way students and teachers come back to school in the waning days of the summer of 2020.

Jeff Moore, Covenant Christian School administrator, said all recommended measures for the opening of schools are being followed.

“We are stopping our teachers and students at the door for temperature check,” Moore said. “Cloth masks are being worn in grades two and above. Being a smaller school, it is easier for us to practice social distancing when seating the students and good hand hygiene is being practiced throughout the school.”

Moore said the teachers have flexibility in their classrooms and are monitoring their classrooms to make sure their students are in a safe learning environment.”

Moor said enrollment at Covenant Christian is down slightly due to concerns about the coronavirus and that is understandable.

“But, at Covenant Christian, we believe that the best education possible is in the classroom,” he said.

DeAndrea Burnett, third-grade teacher, said one-on-one facetime provides the best opportunity for learning.

“We understand parents’ concerns about their children returning to school and are doing everything possible to make sure our students stay safe,” she said. “We are sanitizing everything, social distancing, washing hands and reminding the students to keep their hands away from their faces.”

Burnett said COVID-19 has been front and center since March so the safeguards are not new to the students.

The masks didn’t appear to be a distraction for the students. But they were learning to raise their muffled voices.

Ryan Swindall said being back is school is “okay” but “going to the beach is better.”

“I like school especially snack time, lunch time, recess and art,” he said with the smile showing through his dinosaur mask. The other students leaned their masked faces a bit closer to hear his story about a black shark at the beach. They were wide-eyed with interest.

Judson Durant said he’s likes being back at school.

“I get to see my friends and go the P.E.,” he said. “School’s okay. Really.”

And, really, too, Eian Anderson said. He likes school – math, reading and playing outside. Being back in school is “okay” but he would rather the virus go away.

Walt Kreis said he’s likes school so he’s being very careful about the coronavirus.

“It’s not bad if you’re young but it’s bad for people like my mama and papa,” he said. “I love them and I don’t want them to get it.”

The young students listened quietly to Walter’s concern for his grandparents. Perhaps, that’s an indication that their child-like understanding of COVID-19 will keep youngsters “safe” at school, too.

Troy City Schools and Pike County Schools return to class on Aug. 24. Pike Liberal Arts School students return on Wednesday, Aug. 12 with a half-day schedule.